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Grateful Dead Live at Capitol Theater on 1971-02-18

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Grateful Dead Live at Capitol Theater on 1971-02-18

Bertha*, Truckin', It Hurts Me Too, Loser*, Greatest Story Ever Told* > Johnny B. Goode*, Mama Tried, Hard To Handle, Dark Star > Wharf Rat* > Dark Star > Me & My Uncle Casey Jones, Playin' In The Band, Me And Bobby McGee, Candyman, Big Boss Man, Sugar Magnolia, Saint Stephen > Not Fade Away > Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad > Not Fade Away > Uncle John's Band

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Capitol Theater
Location Port Chester, NY

Source Soundboard (remastered)
Lineage SBD > Dolby A Reel > Dolby A decode > DAT > Sound Forge NR > CD-R > SHN
Transferred by Leigh Orf


* first performance.

The original reels of the Port Chester run of '71 were audibly tainted due to a cable problem. The result is a tone which hovers around 8000 Hz with an amplitude of about +20 dB above the noise floor. This translate to a very annoying pitch, especially during quiet sections, which is in the old-tv-tube or lousy-hard-disk or maybe even the-sound-you-hear-after-you-slam-your-head-against-a-concrete-wall class of 'whine'. Because this interference is 'monochromatic' it's easy to get rid of if you have the processing power and a quick FFT algorithm. I used the filter-shaping capabilities of the Sonic Foundry Noise Reduction Plugin to tailor a very narrow notch filter which attenuated the interference without affecting the rest of the signal. And it's all done in the digital domain. Huzzah!

As a side note, I actually ended up crafting many filters to process these shows. The frequency of the interference actually drifted anywhere from 7700 to 8100 Hz during a given show. This was probalby due to a slightly wandering reel speed. It made my work harder but when I tried a much wider filter I started to be able to hear the attenuation in the music. The filters generally go like this (see info file for diagram).

The end result is no more annoying whine!

I also removed some of the nasty mic feedback in the 2/18/71 Bertha using this type of filter.


Reviewer: Desert Mountain - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 18, 2016
Subject: 45 years later
I was 16 then, 61 now. Ned Lagin had his keyboard set up next to Jerry. I was in the fourth or fifth row same side. I went every night except the second to last. Peak night?. It seems like the night of Lovelight. To me every night I went seemed stellar. So no complaints.
Reviewer: over60andshining - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 6, 2015
Subject: Listen for a big smile
Hard day at work? No problem, listen to this one.
Reviewer: Waki Taki Flocki - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 10, 2014
Subject: Dark Star Reprise
The way Jerry plays the return to Dark Star really sound like the second half of the signature China Cat rift.

A **GREAT** essay on this Dark Star its precedents and uniqueness over here at the Grateful Dead Guide
Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 19, 2013
Subject: --
Definitely a fun listen! Very upbeat, relaxed, yet high-energy show. There is the period-characteristic plethora of cowboy songs, and a very clear recording emphasizing the rather harsh, jangly '71-'72 sound system (never my favorite compared to the softer, warmer sound they achieved from '73 on). There is a very rightly famous Wharf/Star jam and lots of great playing.
Reviewer: runsamrun - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 10, 2012
Subject: my favorite dark star.
the ds>wr>ds is probably the most beautiful piece of music i have ever heard. it changed me.
Reviewer: P.M. Kramer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 24, 2012
Subject: reopen
the capital in Port Chester is reopening in a month
and who is the opening act
you might ask?
i am not kidding
Reviewer: pauggroove - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 16, 2012
Subject: An absolute smoker
Jerry just soars into another galaxy in this one. Lots of people have commented on the "Beautiful Jam", and rightfully so, but also the Sugar Magnolia is short but fantastic. Great show all around and some funny stage banter before the second set. Get this show!
Reviewer: DMT - - April 14, 2012
Subject: ..
This is the Grateful Dead
Reviewer: Dead95 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 13, 2012
Subject: help
New to this, someone wanna explain
Reviewer: Ramabodhi - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 19, 2011
Subject: seriously
hard to handle
Reviewer: - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 18, 2011
Subject: JohnAnthony
I can help you out my friend. Email me at :)

Also, this show is great. Farewell to Mickey for a little while, and they introduced some songs we now love so much (Bertha, Wharf Rat, Greatest Story, Loser, And Playing in the Band, DAMN!). The Dark-Wharf sandwich is so magical. A must have.
Reviewer: JohnAnthony - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 17, 2011
Subject: Help?
Hey I'm new to the dead family and this site and I was just wondering how exactly this works, Can I download this show? If not would anybody be willing to do me a huge favor and get me this mp3?
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 18, 2011
Subject: wow
i believe some else mentioned that Dick Latvala once played the 'Beautiful Jam' for Phil and he was moved to tears.

after owning the 'So Many Roads' boxset for years, only recently had i heard it in the complete context of this Dark Star, and i gotta say i almost was too.

god bless the Grateful Dead
Reviewer: shermski - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 18, 2011
Subject: 40 years ago today
simply sublime.
Reviewer: rschwz28 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 26, 2010
Subject: Ned Lagin
So it's Ned Lagin playing keyboard on Casey Jones.
Reviewer: weironamissionfrombob - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 12, 2010
Subject: prt chstr shws
yo dr flashback good news you can get the 2-19-71 show from the next night on 3 from the vault, it contains an excellent jammed out smokestack lightning, Cliff you can get this show at
Reviewer: mrgrey - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 31, 2010
Subject: darkstar
for the person asking about the jam in the darkstar reprise, its called the tighten up jam and if you google it you can see all other times jerry teased it
Reviewer: xvgi - favorite - August 19, 2009
Subject: Get the other version
Great show but there is a glitch at 2.22 of track 2 (and possibly others)which doesn't seem to have been on the original tapes. I would advise listening to the other version of this show.

I personally prefer to listen to the original tapes with their various noises and glitches, rather than 'cleaned up' versions where NEW noises/glitches have been introduced.

(Rating is for this particular copy, rather than the show of course)
Reviewer: twang - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 14, 2009
Subject: More Beautiful Jam
In general love this show and specifically love the Dark Star reprise (aka Beautiful Jam) after Wharf. Have also found this same Dark Star Jam on Dick's Pick's Vol. Two recorded 10-31-71 at the Ohio Theater. Does anyone know of any other examples besides the previously mentioned 05-24-70 show. For my money this version is an all time fav. As previous poster said so well - "just sublime"
Reviewer: GennyBenni - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 12, 2009
Subject: Excellent
This show has one of my favorite incarnations of Dark Star. I am a Dark Star junkie, and this was a great fix - the way they play this first Wharf Rat, it sounds as if they are two parts of the same song. The transition is so natural and virtually seamless.

The jam coming out of Dark Star is just sublime, as has already been said. The rest of the show is REALLY strong too, especially the Loser and the multiple-song run at the end. You won't regret checking this one out.
Reviewer: Leigh Orf - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 28, 2009
Subject: Remastering notes on this show
Beware - there are inferior versions of this show in circulation as the result of a rather brute force filtering technique. Some info on this here:
Reviewer: snow_and_rain - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 16, 2009
Subject: First PITB too... Also Mickey's last for a while
The Playin is a real stinker tho.

However, this is an awesome show. I about wore out this tape years ago. Look at all the FIRSTS! First Wharf Rat in a Dark Star sandwich!!?! Too good to be true. The definitive Dark Star, for me. What I wouldn't give to witness this first set in person.
Reviewer: Dr. Bilvis - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 20, 2008
Subject: Changed my relationship to Dead Music
After years of going to Dead shows between '85 to '94, I spent years getting a degree, then got married, and had kids. I never lost my love of the Dead, but I found myself listening to them less, and my old tapes sat in a drawer less frequently played. Then came the internet and downloading and streaming shows. This was the single show that captured my imagination and pulled my back into total Dead immersion. This show is amazing and so historical. So many firsts -- "Playin" is the musical version of freshly brewed beer. It bubbles. The DS>Wharf Rat>DS sequence is every bit as incredible as previous reviewers have indicated. Both sets are great -- driving, energetic, improvisational music from start to finish. What a show! This one pulled me back into an old and wonderful realtionship with the ever-fresh music of the greatest American band. And I grew up near the Capitol Theater -- though I was a wee tike in '71 -- and have only learned the amazing musical legacy of the place.
Reviewer: danaburger144231 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 13, 2008
Subject: beautiful beautiful
The guitar sings inside my soul in this jam. loveee it!
Reviewer: darkstar2239 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 6, 2008
Subject: You can get this show!
Great show and it can be yours. By listening to the show, you have it in your Internet explorer temporary files folder. Right click the internet icon. Click on internet properties, then settings under browsing history. Then click on View Files. There it is! Now drag it to a new folder to be burned to disc or directly to your IPOD and you have it forever. This is for XP. Other OS may need to search a bit.
Reviewer: Miss Divine - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 18, 2008
Subject: So many firsts!
A really important show and in such good quality too. Too many highpoints to mention individually, but the Dark Star > Wharf Rat > Dark Star is now my all-time fave sequence.

I have agree that this run at the Capitol Theater should get it's own's a vital part of the Grateful Dead's evolution.
Reviewer: JustinMusic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 25, 2008
Subject: OMG!
This show is one of the best early dead shows I have ever seen. Enjoy this.
Reviewer: MilesASU - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 15, 2008
Subject: very nice
This show had a lot of good firsts and with many firsts for songs, you expect them to be a little scratchy but especially the Bertha, you feel the note by note precision these guys throw in. Also, I was doing some reading up and wasn't this a first for Playin in the Band?
Reviewer: st. heathen - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 11, 2007
Subject: beautiful jam
a much better, more fully realized, version of this jam is found (during Dark Star) on the 5-24-70 show.
Reviewer: chinacatsnflwr5 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 27, 2007
Subject: don't understand
i don't understand why any one would give this show any less than 5 stars. the sound quality is near perfect and the perfomace IS perect. i mean the Darkstar>Warf Rat>Darrkstar segment is awsome. and i really like the mama tried
Reviewer: SavannahDeadHead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 5, 2006
Subject: Help
The entire '71 run from the Capitol Theater deserves a box set of its own. This show is just dripping with energy and the "firsts" make 2-18-1971 yet another reason this show is an essential part of any collection. You can also stream a really nice version of this show at
Reviewer: JerryInaPouch - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 4, 2006
Subject: great show!~
Just an FYI: This show has the first live playing of "Loser" - and also, you can download this entire show from here:

(Thank God we're not "dead" yet) hehe,..
Reviewer: rollandfin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 7, 2006
Subject: Good Stuff
Essential listening, Agree with all comments about DS>wharf>DS>Uncle , it is truely magical, it's not something commercial, nothing you are gona hear on the radio anytime soon, it will never be the hit single, It's deeper and more complicated, Even the break btw DS and Me and my uncle is great, who knew that was were they were going,

very good Bertha for sure, with the uptempo, it's good all year really, but check out 5/9/77 that will kick you silly.

email me at
Reviewer: amichels - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 24, 2006
Subject: That jam is beautiful
Amazing! Download the show just for that if you have to.

The jam out of Wharf Rat into Dark Star is so good. It has an old '65 Early Morning Rain ring to it.

Reviewer: cliff449 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 23, 2006
Subject: Moved to tears
When Dave Gans played the "beautiful jam" section while interviewing Phil Lesh, the latter gentleman was literally moved to tears. This show has that great section, some notable "firsts," and good sound quality for a '71 show. And if anybody knows where I can get a copy, please e-mail Thanks and thanks to the men of the Grateful Dead for this music.
Reviewer: jeromejohngarcia - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 19, 2006
Subject: Download
This is a very great show! Why no Download possible?
Reviewer: kamala - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 2, 2006
Subject: "Beautiful Jam"
The transitional jam between Wharf Rat & Dark Star was featured on the "So Many Roads" box set (the one with the five, different colored, steal your face cd's). Respectively titled "Beautiful Jam", this one couldn't be sweeter. I've loved this jam for years, but always, to my great disappointment, the track fades out just as you hear the first 6 notes of Dark Star, leaving it up to your imagination to fill in the literally endless void of what I know now that they so beautifully melt into (not to mention it's origin). Ecstatic to find this one. Well worth the download for this jam alone. show 4 1/2 stars. great sound.
Reviewer: ripplenstlh20 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 27, 2005
Subject: Historical
So many first played live songs. This one is a great quality recording as well. This is the best Bertha I have ever heard (just an opinion) and it is their first played as well. The two vocals come together so well in a way that only the dead can do. This is probably my favorite show when it comes down to it. I don't ever post but people have to know about this one. Thats just how good it is. Download it and check it out and most importantly... enjoy!
Reviewer: jklem27 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 29, 2005
Subject: WOW!! many-first ever played.
outstanding!! Also, noted I believe this contains first ever played of the following; Bertha, Wharf Rat, Greatest Story, Johnny B. Goode, Loser and Playin'!! As we all know, these all stayed in the rotation for good! What an historic must have show for all.

Reviewer: Sammo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 28, 2004
Subject: Tasty Dark Star
Very tasty Dark Star jams. If you like this DS I recommend getting the one from 9-19-70, the day after Jimi died. It beats the 2-18-71 DS hands down.
Reviewer: treadstone - favorite - December 22, 2004
Subject: Inferior Version
After listening to this version, side-by-side, with the original (NO Noise Reduction) version... The original is the winner, hands down. This version is clearly inferior. It sounds like there are pillows in front of my speakers when I listen to this Noise Reduced version. Go with the original DAT version WITHOUT noise reduction. Unless you are going to make .mp3's that is...
Reviewer: dms - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 22, 2004
Subject: NR
I still like the version without noise reduction better.
Reviewer: Fitz1 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 13, 2004
Subject: Three Cheers for Dark Star!!!!
IMHO second only to 2-27-69. I wish it was longer. The second lead is breathtaking!!! Amazing. Just gorgeous guitar work & one of the best reasons to love and cherish this gift. Thanks and congrats to the archives!!!
Reviewer: WharfRatDude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 5, 2004
Subject: Dark Star
This Dark Star is like a mini Live Dead version. The DS theme is strong throughout and great reaches into outer space. The Wharf Rat in between is a sweet and bouncy one.
Reviewer: DeadDave - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 18, 2004
Subject: Sid Weiss?
I don't know what Sid is talking about. This version does NOT sound like a tunnel.

The other version has a high pitch squeal throughout.

Great show...I love the short versions of songs. 5 first-timers in this show. Some good humor too.
Reviewer: sid weiss - favoritefavorite - August 30, 2004
Subject: great sets,,not a great recording
almost in tunnel
Reviewer: one_hoop - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 23, 2004
Subject: confused by track numbering
This show fits on 2 80-min discs:
d1 <79:04>
01. Bertha (7:13) *
02. Truckin' (11:03)
03. It Hurts Me Too (7:42)
04. Loser (8:21) *
05. Greatest Story Ever Told (3:45) * >
06. Johnny B. Goode (3:39) *
07. Mama Tried (3:29)
08. Hard To Handle (8:01)
09. Dark Star > (7:03)
10. Wharf Rat * > (7:21)
11. Dark Star > (7:14)
12. Me And My Uncle (4:04)

d2 <72:31>
01. [Lucky Lager Dance Time] (2:39)
02. Casey Jones (6:10)
03. Playing In The Band (5:09)
04. Me And Bobby McGee (6:06)
05. Candyman (9:46)
06. Big Boss Man (5:40)
07. Sugar Magnolia (8:29)
08. St. Stephen > (5:57)
09. Not Fade Away > (4:33)
10. Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad > (5:01)
11. Not Fade Away (3:59)
12. Uncle John's Band (6:44)
Reviewer: dr. flashback - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 9, 2004
Subject: Top Ten!!
I wish LAMA had 2/19, because I think it tops this one both in playing and song selection. But that's a small difference when it comes to all these fine fine Capitol shows. This one is memorable for many reasons - the debuts of many classics, including Wharf Rat, Playin and Loser. You might say this show, Mickey's last until 1975-76 tours, is the rebirth of the Dead's new incarnation of their 70's sound.As with all these Capitol shows, there are some ooops moments,which is why they were not used for the live album.But the flaws are easily overlooked. The Dark Star will take your breath away. Short, but like a Japanese haiku, it says all it needs to say! In the Dark Star museum, this one is in the main gallery. The St. Stephen to end jams are inspired and a good example of why many old die hard Deadheads say 1971 is their favorite year. A must have for 1971!
Dr. Flashback ;-)
Reviewer: Ox Fall Down - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 3, 2004
Subject: First night for Loser.
Garcia sings, "everybody's laughing and drinking that wine," instead of ,"everybody's bragging..." And he omits the "sweet" from the second "sweet Susie."

Great first Bertha. Unpolished but energetic. Decent, not great 1st Dark Star (of the night), excellent Wharf Rat and brilliant 2nd Dark Star. Really articulate guitar work from JG. Start at 1:15 for his solo.

Mix gets 4.5 stars, sound gets 4, setlist gets 5. This is very close to 5 stars on a strict scale.
Reviewer: jeeves - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 24, 2004
Subject: oh my ...
god what a show. The dead from 69-71 was something to behold. Hats off to great work folks!
Reviewer: raintheory - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 8, 2004
Subject: Wharf Rat>Dark Star
One of my fav. jams... Wharf Rat>Dark Star
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